Oswego – Lake Ontario!


So, we made it to the shores of Lake Ontario! We’re in Oswego, NY waiting for the wind to lay. Our locking yesterday was not as relaxed as previous days, despite the fact that we were locking down- usually less turbulent so the boat doesn’t tap dance with the lock walls quite as much. The wind was playing games with the walls of the locks, and holding the boat in position got progressively more challenging as the afternoon drew towards evening. Fenders keep the boat from banging into the walls, but movement away must be checked with lines that are typically held by hand.  About half the locks, particularly those over about a 15 ft. lift, have either stout cables or pipe recessed into the lock wall. We found that a short line passed around that from our midship hawse cleat generally provides just the right amount of control. But yesterdays winds were challenging that procedure, and hand holding the lines that extend from the top of the lock wall was very difficult. We ended up passing the line through the hawse cleats at the bow and stern in order to control them. 25 tons of boat is a lot of mass to move with a hand held line, and impossible in windy conditions!


We toured Ft. Ontario in the morning, the local Maritime museum in the afternoon with Sue & Joe aboard Quixote, tied in front of us on the wall. Lots of interesting history of the area, a retired WWII Army tug, old canal derrick. Walked around the west side of Oswego. There are lots of buildings closed up, several restaurants that are closed and falling into disrepair, all signs of New York’s economic woes. It’s sad to see, probably the most troubling part of our cruise experience. The local riverwalk is still well-maintained, and the banks and walls of the canal system are beautifully maintained. The nicest part of the canal cruising experience is being able to simply tie up to one of the walls with no worries about tide or current. I don’t believe the boat has pitched more than a few inches for two weeks now! The dogs are loving being able to hop off the boat and wander around the area, checking out the new smells!

We plan to head across Lake Ontario Friday, destination Kingston, where we’ll meet up with Canadian friends Bill & Eleanor who have some holiday time and will be able to spend a few days cruising the Thousand Islands area. It will be a great time!

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